By the time “Jeopardy!” champion Matt Amodio’s historic run came to an end, he’d gained more cash, fame, and notoriety than he’d ever dreamed he would.
And surprisingly, it’s the notoriety that’s impacted his life the most since then. Amodio, who’s a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate at Yale, sat down with The Yale Daily News to talk about how his life has changed since appearing on the show.
“I think the only thing that’s changed really is how much attention I’m getting,” Amodio said. “But it hasn’t changed my day-to-day or hour-to-hour life all that much … I had something happen that made me popular, and then as that thing becomes farther and farther away in time, I will become less and less popular. I know that I don’t have to acclimate to the changes too much. Just trying to ride the wave and enjoy it.”
The “Jeopardy!” fans have certainly enjoyed it. It’s always fun to have someone to root for, especially on a challenging trivia show like this one.
Amodio made “Jeopardy!” history by recording the second-highest number of consecutive wins (38), with only the legendary Ken Jennings’ 74-game run ahead of him. He also landed third on the leaderboard for the highest earnings. Amodio walked away with $1,518,601, while Jennings earned $2.5 million and James Holzhauer earned $2.4 million in just 32 games. But Amodio promises that he won’t “spend a single penny.”
“I’m a frugal guy, so if I were to try to go out and buy a Lamborghini I just wouldn’t feel comfortable,” he said.
Instead, per a “Jeopardy!” exclusive interview, the most expensive thing he plans on buying is a house.
“Multiple houses,” Amodio joked. “No, I’m going to learn a lot about investing in the coming months.”
Former ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Matt Amodio Worries About Getting ‘Rusty’ Before Tournament of Champions
Based on his extraordinary 38-day run, Amodio solidified himself a spot in the “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions next year. Amodio will compete against the other great contestants from this past year, all of who have won at least five games.
One competitor Amodio might face? Jonathan Fisher, the current champ who took down Amodio in his 39th game. Fisher just won his sixth game yesterday, so he’s starting a streak just like Amodio did. But with the year’s worth of time between his last game and the upcoming Tournament, Amodio worries he might get “rusty.”
“I’m a little nervous about going in with high expectations that I should dominate and then just underwhelm with my performance,” he said. “Hopefully I do well. It should be fun no matter what, but I am a little nervous.”
Fisher told host Mayim Bialik earlier that he can’t wait to potentially face Amodio again in the Tournament.
“I mean it would be amazing. It’s one of the highlights of my life to be here but also to have played against Matt,” Fisher said. “So to get to do it again would just be icing on the cake.”